The great thing about conferences is that by the end of them, you usually have a better idea about products and vendor offerings. The SharePoint conference is Las Vegas is no different. However, true to form, Microsoft has only half-answered one of the burning questions of this year: what will it do with Yammer?
What to Do With Yammer
While it has given a great deal of information during keynote addresses on where it is taking Yammer, Microsoft didn’t offer any clear indication of when all the new ‘happenings’ are going to take place.
We say happenings, because not all that has been announced over the keynote speeches have to do with technology. In fact one of the more important announcements around Yammer is pricing and the Business Edition.
And for many enterprises, pricing is going to be a deciding factor in adoption. Speaking at one of the keynote addresses, Jared Spataro, senior director, Office Division, outlined where Microsoft is going with pricing and Yammer.
Yammer Pricing Slashed
Sparato has also written a substantial blog post to coincide with the SharePoint conference. In it, he confirms what other contributors have been saying; notably that Microsoft has simplified Yammer pricing from four streams to two.
That means that Yammer now comes in two flavors: 1) Basic free edition and 2) Enterprise Edition. Pricing has also been changed to reflect that. Yammer Enterprise will drop from US$ 15 per month per user, to US$ 3 per user per month.
On top of this, and confirming speculation when the Yammer buy was announced, Microsoft announced that Yammer Enterprise will now ship with SharePoint Online with no change in price.
SharePoint, Yammer Roadmap
The roadmap as Spartaro sees it, also holds some interesting ideas, many of which were also discussed in the keynotes over the opening day.
High on the list of things to do is tighter integration. Even after the buy there was a certain amount of limited integration available through Yammer and SharePoint’s API.
Microsoft, he said, is “incredibly proud” of the social features that are on the way with SharePoint 2013. But Yammer is a different ball game altogether and pushes ‘social’ even further.
As of this week, users will be able to connect the two with the Yammer web parts and Yammer Open Graph capabilities. Both will also benefit from unified identity, integrated document management and integration of feeds.
And there’s more to come. Once these “foundational” investments — his words, not ours — are in place Microsoft will use the 90-day release cycle of both SharePoint Online and Office 365 to add new capabilities.
A Socially Collaborative Vision
The ultimate vision, he says, is to provide connected experience that combines social, collaboration, email and unified communications together under the same roof. One of the big steps towards that will be that Yammer Enterprise will ship with all its Office 365 Enterprise offerings, and again, with no change in price.
All this looks really exciting, none of the contributors at the conference have indicated when it might be taking place, but this is just a likely to be more about the rolling releases that run with Office 365 and SharePoint Online than it is to do with a lack of planning.
SharePoint 2013 is pivotal, because it's the beginning of a new era…We think of it as a bridge between where we've come from, and where we're going." SharePoint 2013 marks "the end of three-year release cycles, and the beginning of cloud updates every 90 days," Spataro said.”
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